Top tips for winter walking

Mist along the avenue at Morden Hall Park

There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking.

Working with Cotswold Outdoor, our official outdoor retailer, we've gathered together some top tips to help you get outside and enjoy being closer to nature this winter.

Avoid overheating

It can seem strange to think about over-heating in winter, but sweating is one of the easiest ways to get cold when out walking. So breathable layers are crucial in helping you cope with this. Merino wool base layers are the best as they naturally wick sweat away from your skin. And a breathable jacket is the icing on your layer cake, too.

Beat the wind at its own game

A strong wind can often make it feel colder than it actually is. The best way to beat windchill is with a wind-stopper. A lightweight windshell, or softshell jacket can be the perfect solution.

Stay warm when you stop 

The moment you stop, be it to check your map, take a swig from the flask, or to soak up a spectacular view, you start cooling down. Staying warm is always better than cooling down, then trying to warm up again. So take a tip from the pros and cover-up before you get cold. Carry a lightweight down (or synthetic) insulated jacket with you in your bag, great for whipping out when you stop. They pack up really small and weigh next to nothing - perfect additional winter warmth.

Try wearing mitts instead of gloves to keep warm on a winter walk
A visitor warming their hands by a fire at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire.

The big switch - to mitts    

A top tip from the professionals is to wear mitts. The heat from all your fingers will work together, like a little pack of penguins, sharing the warmth between them. If you need to use your hands a lot, it can be a good idea to wear a liner glove beneath the mitt to keep the elements away when your mitts are off. 

Turn the heating up

What better way to stay warm than to start off toasty? Heat your base layers, gloves and hats on the radiator before you put them on and you’ll be cosy all day. And when you stop for that hot chocolate, simply stash them inside your jacket to keep them warm. That way, when you’re heading back out there, you’ll be warm and toasty.

See what the experts say

For more tips and advice from the experts, visit Cotswold Outdoor, where you’ll also enjoy 15% off everything with your National Trust membership*. So all you need to do is gather everyone together and get ready for your next adventure.

*This is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Selected lines are exempt. This offer is redeemable on production of your National Trust membership card in store or email partners@cotswoldoutdoor.com with your National Trust membership number to receive a discount code to use online. Offer expires 31.12.17.